Day Three of the Thirteen Days of Solstice


We're celebrating the 13 days of Solstice rather than the 12 days of Christmas. I'm done writing and editing books, so I'm highlighting each one of them in reverse chronological order, leading up to the 25th of the month. This time it's Varieties of Jesus Mythicism: Did He Even Exist. [See Tag Below]

Here is the Amazon link to get this "sure to be a classic" book, right here!

You should read the text of my talk at the Global Center for Religious Research eConference on Jesus Mythicism, which includes my Preface at the end of it. 
There were a few challenges in this book. 
Zuckerman: Phil Zuckerman asked me why I chose to co-edit a book with Robert M. Price, a known supporter of Donald Trump. Well actually, Bob choose me to co-write it. After editing an anthology on The Empty Tomb more than a decade ago, he didn't want to do that again. So Bob asked me. He already had most of the authors. What I did was to acquire two additional authors and get it published. He already knew this is the kind of thing I do well from previous anthologies.

I responded to Zuckerman as follows: "What if conspiratorial thinking is what Bob shares with other Trumpsters? What if many Jesus Mythicists are already prone to accept what Trump says about faked news, faked pandemics, and faked elections? I myself am an ardent supporter of Bernie Sanders. I see no reason to change my views now. Perhaps this perspective might help you understand it, even as repulsive as it is to us both."

Conspiratorial thinking is born out of a distrust for, and skepticism of authorities, whether religious or secular, governmental figures or corporations. It distrusts most anyone in authority over us. So Jesus mythicism, Mohammed mythicism, and Buddah mythicism are all born from the same cloth as are modern conspiracies like QAnon, in that they distrust authorities and the party line. That distrust should not lead to believing in just anything though, as QAnon conspiracies are ignorantly being accepted today. Combine this conspiratorial thinking with a conservative economics as an older white guy and Trump just might be your man. [I find it interesting that among atheists who defend conservative ideas most of them are old white guys.]

PC Emery (a pseudonym): I was also challenged to explain why I co-edited this work with Robert Price after Hemant Metha reported some statements of his that were unacceptable. PC Emery, one of our authors, had submitted the finest chapter I've seen on the history of Jesus Mythicism, an absolute gem. But later he emailed Hypatia Press and me to tell us he was withdrawing from the book:
As a non-binary person and sexual assault survivor, the comments were extremely hurtful and damaging, coming from a scholar I had thought of as a friend, and having spent my recent life and time fighting against such bigotry and invalidation, I cannot under any moral perspective compartmentalize publishing under Price again.
I am sorry PC Emery was made to feel that way, for sure.

What were Rob Johnson the publisher, David G. McAfee the editor, and I to do? I was already under contract. We chose not to have a knee jerk response. Among the options available I suggested we do nothing. If Emery wants to leave, let him leave. I said that, "While we don't agree with Bob's socio-political views at all, in this particular anthology his views do not surface anywhere, and that should be the end of it." Dr. Price is still a very important voice on behalf of biblical criticism and Jesus Mythicism. Since my single-minded focus is to debunk Christianity, and since Price is such a master at doing this, there was no reason to "cancel" him, given what he has to offer.

One might tell me which is the greater evil, Christianity in general or Bob's socio-political views? Bob's views aren't doing that much damage since most people have never heard of him. But the type of Christian faith that propagates views like his is doing a great amount of harm. So I take aim at that type of Christianity and I'm allowing Bob to help me do it, even if he does so inconsistently.

Richard Carrier: For a defense of this book from Carrier's pejorative claim that it contains "amateurs" and "cranks" see what I additionally wrote. As a follow up, Joe Atwill and I responded to Carrier's criticisms right here.

Hypatia Press: After the poor proofreading experience I had with them over The Case against Miracles why would I give them another book to publish? It's because I give people second chances.

This time with this book I had some conditions. I said, "When it comes to editing the chapters I want you to deal directly with each author, by-passing the editors. I will also insist on a proofreader!" I specifically opted out of the copyediting and proofreading process, since Hypatia Press blamed me for the problems with my previous book against miracles. If there were any problems I wanted it to be clear that I had nothing to do them.
David G. McAfee said, "This sounds like a reasonable way to handle things."

Well we had a problem. A few authors said there were mistakes in their chapters, even Bob Price himself. My biggest peeve was that I included Part 1 and Part 2 headings in the Table of Contents, which they left out. Plus, more importantly, they left out the descriptions of the authors I had sent them. Here is the missing biographical information about the contributors. I asked Johnson and McAfee to fix these problems and replace the books that Bob and I were supposed to mail out to the contributors. They refused. So we mailed the books out ourselves with a double-sided 8.5x11 page that included the author information inside of them. I think it's fixed now. 
Here we are in about 2007.
Contents:
Foreword by Richard C. Miller
Preface “The Jesus of the Gospels Didn’t Exist” by John Loftus 
Introduction  “New Testament Minimalism” by Robert M. Price
Part 1 Varieties of Jesus Mythicism
1 Why Mythicism Matters, by Dave Fitzgerald. 
2 Jesus, by Barbara G. Walker 
3 Dying and Rising Gods, by Derreck Bennett.  
4 Christianity is a Western Branch of Buddhism, by Michael Lockwood 
5 The Roman Provenance of Christianity, by Joseph Atwill.
6 Pauline Origin of the Gospels in the Wake of the Jewish-Roman War, by R.G. Price 
7 Under the Mushroom Tree, by Michael Hoffman 
8 Star-Lore in the Gospels, by Bill Darlison 
9 The Mythic Power of the Atonement, by Robert M. Price
10 A Sacrifice in Heaven: The Son in the Epistle to the Hebrews, by Earl Doherty
11 The Jewish Myth of Jesus, by Stephan Huller 
12 Jesus: Pre-Existent and Non-Existent, by Robert M. Price 
13 Mark's Gospel: A Performed Play in Rome, by Danila Oder
Part 2 Mythicist Rejoiners to Biblical Scholars
14 Is There a Man Behind the Curtain? A Response to Bart Ehrman, by Robert M. Price
15 A Rejoinder to James McGrath’s Case for Jesus, by Neil Godfrey.
16 Everything is Wrong with This: The Legacy of Maurice Casey, by Tim Widowfield.
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John W. Loftus is a philosopher and counter-apologist credited with 13 critically acclaimed books, which are not very popular judging from the meager sales. At this season I'm retired with a fixed income and would appreciate a one-time solstice gift to help me get by. If my work has benefited you at all, it would encourage me to keep doing what I'm doing for as long as I can. My marriage has suffered because my wife often complains I spend way too much time online. But if I could make a little money doing what I do, she probably wouldn't complain any more, and you would see me writing more.

Please support my work this season by sharing my posts, or by subscribing, donating, or buying my books at Amazon, then telling others about them! As an Amazon Associate John earns a small amount of money from purchases made from Amazon. Buying anything through these links helps fund my work here, and is greatly appreciated! The ads here don't bring in any money to speak about. Since most people use an adblocker I'm thinking of doing away with them. I hope this season of the year brings you cheer, peace, good health, and healthy relationships! Thanks for your support!

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